tv MSNBC Live MSNBC February 11, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
fire. again, decracy is only rarely perfect, only rarely pure. but here in its beginnings, it is close to it. it is nonviolent, it is popular and it has a happy face. with the people of egypt, this great land, so much older than ours, this democracy, so much younger, we say and agree, god is great. that's "hardball" for now. we'll be back with another edition. more politics ahead with ce cenk uyger. tonight, i'm happy to report the egyptian people of won the dictator mubarak has lost. after 18 days in the streets, changes come for the people of egypt. hosni mubarak's regime tried everything to crush the uprising, from curfews to thugs on camels. but today around 11:00 a.m. eastern, 6:00 p.m. cairo time, mubarak regime finally went down. >> reporter: president hosni mubarak is giving up his power.
as soon as he spoke the people started cheering and screaming. you can hear it behind me. this is the statement they have been waiting for. >> the crowd in tahrir square cheering. today, barack obama praised a successful peaceful revolution. >> there are very few moments in our lives where we have the privilege to witness history taking place. and this is one of those moments. this is one of those times. the people of egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard and egypt will never be the same. by stepping down, president mubarak responded to the egyptian people's hunger for change. >> he is exactly right. now the celebration has not died down yet. people are still in the square,
celebrating right now. even though it's 1:00 in the morning in cairo. now tonight, we're going to try to explain exactly why this revolution happened, how it happened and what will rise up now that the old regime has gone down. joining me now from cairo is msnbc's chief foreign correspondent, richard engel. i want to talk to you about the people in the streets. i have seen you throughout the day. i want to know who they are. is it mainly the youth, a cross section, middle class, laborers? who are they? >> right now, it is everyone who has come out into the streets. people came out of their homes. not just in cairo. i suspect tomorrow, people will be bringing in videos from little towns and villages across the country. some people have already been posting things that they shot on facebook from some rural communities in this country. today, everyone is celebrating.
this movement has largely been driven by the young people, that's who started it, but it was joined by the muslim brotherhood. it was joined by laborers and factory workers. and today all the egyptians say they're united in this change and celebrating together. >> i think a lot of people in america obviously get they were not happy with mubarak. they thought he was a tyrant and dictator. what happened to them personally that made them so jub lent to get rid of this regime? >> a lot of this attention has been focused on mubarak himself. it wasn't that they hated mubarak like the iraqi people hated saddam. iraqis were terrified of saddam personally and his family. the egyptians, particularly the last several years didn't like mubarak, but they didn't like the system. most of the cheers we've been hearing for the last 18 days have been we want to topple the
system. they felt it had been classified, locked in place by the president. they thought if mubarak himself can go, then the system itself will collapse, a system that doesn't respect their wishes, doesn't allow them to vote because of the emergency law. mubarak blame the rallying cry as they wanted to bring down the entire system. >> let's talk about that system for a second. you mentioned cronyism. is it people feel they can't get jobs or set up businesses without going through the mubarak government? they can't earn a wage for their family? what is driving them that led them to do this revolution now? >> there was a huge bogcy in this country and a very entrenched political party, the national democratic party, mubarak's party. now, mubarak is so far removed
from this. the average would have no contact with the president or even the senior executives. someone would have used his influence to hire other friends and family members into that factory, into that state industry. or a newspaper, if you were a newspaper journalist and you were out collecting your stories you would be answerable to someone who is a party official who's untouchtial. that's the deep frustration with the system they felt. why now? tunisia happened. inflation has been rising in this country at a rapid rate for years. they have the ability to organize and communicate online with twitter and sms messages, overwhelming the system. if you were just talking on land lines, you could be followed.
when i lived in egypt, i was physically followed by security agents. i had my phone line tapped and i could hear people listening to it on the other side. but if they have millions of people sending these quick, instant messages with symbols that state security apparatus, generally older people who have been employed there for a long time don't know how to read, then they are effectively untraceable. >> so we got them because they don't know what lol meant? that's funny. >> i was talking to a person who worked in the state security apparatus. and he told me, well, don't be too afraid of it. yes, they're monitoring their phones, but there's so many they're monitoring they can't possibly keep track of it all. so think about flooding the system with symbols and think about people who have had the job in this state security service for a decade or more, they couldn't keep track of this. >> real quick, last question.
obviously everybody knows mubarak is out, but is the system out? >> that is what remaining to be seen. the military is taking other, and the military has made it clear it will fulfill the legitimate aspirations of the people. the people want to see the parliament dissolved. they want to see a new political frame work, form political parties. the military says it will end the emergency law sdmoons this, well, now happy pandemonium in the streets is over. and if the energy law is lifted, then people will be able to organize politically, and that could fundamentally change the system. >> richard engel in cairo. thank you so much for your appearance tonight. really appreciate it. >> all right, now joining me is former secretary of defense under president clinton, william cohn. secretary cohen, how much did the administration have a hand in this final decision of mubarak to leave? >> it's hard to say.
obviously there are lots of communications taking place in between the military, chairman of the joint chiefs, secretary gates, national security adviser, lots of individuals were maintaining contact with their counterparts in egypt. so hard to say exactly what that influence was. very clear from president obama he wanted to see an orderly transition in a very sport period of time. on the other hand, he wanted to be careful if this thing went violent, and it could have done so last night, he didn't want to be accused of interfering and producing a chaotic and very destructive result. i think he handled it just about right in terms of having a pretty steady hand on how we should calibrate our involvement. miking sure this is the egypt people who is speaking and protesting, without the u.s. intervening in a way that was adverse to their interest. >> you were the defense secretary. you know what levers of power we
have with a government like egypt. what could they use to pressure mubarak? >> our economic assistance, our military assistance could be used. there were some rumors to the effect there were others in the region that could replace that economic and military assistance if we withdrew it. but i think you have to be careful. you can't make a threat like that unless you're prepared to exercise it. and once you exercise it, you lose all influence. so again, there was some hesitancy on the part of some, but i think overall, president obama handled it very well. >> president obama, like you said, was walking that diplomat diplomatic fine line, going back and forth. but it seems like he made a turn last night. he came out with what seemed to be a stern message for mubarak. what is your sense of what they might have said behind the scenes to get mubarak to finally
go, when even yesterday he resisted. is there a sense of what broke the back there? >> i'm not sure any communication took place between president obama last night and president mubarak. i think the secretary of defense, the chairman of the joint chiefs, i think the entire apparatus communicated to the egyptians that this was not an acceptable outcome, that we were facing a situation where the crowd could turn very aggressive. the military could then have taken counteraggressive action. it could have turned into a major disaster. that was the fear on the part of president obama. i think his message was tailored to say precisely that. he had a sense of urgency in his voice and a message. and i think that was communicated to those in charge. the military persuading president mubarak, or president
mubarak coming to the conclusion himself that his speech was not going to be sufficient to hold the tide of change coming. >> it was interesting when president obama became very clear, and he was very clear last night, we did have the result today. we don't know if it's a result of that, but it seems perhaps it was a factor. but i do want to go to the other governments in the region. how do do the heads of the other governments react to this? >> it depends which country you're talking about. each is somewhat different. in saudi arabia, you have a king who's been in the forefront of trying to, really introduce modern thing changes in his country. he's expending large amounts of money. they don't have the same kind of discontent in that country that you do in egypt by virtue of the high unemployment and oppression that's feign place. on the other hand, anyone in the region has to be concerned that this information age we're living in can spread so quickly could, in fact, produce similar outcomes. i think everybody is on the
alert. they eve got to make changes, open up their society, give more political opportunity to people who now understand freedom is something that's universal and not simply for those in the west. it's a universal cry for freedom. i think everyone has to be concerned and taken into account. if you go to uae, a very progressive country in dubai, other areas, they're looking -- they're employing people, building things. they have a culture, which is really very much on the rise and trying to reconcile the arab culture and its history with modernity. so it depends on where they are at this point, but i think everyone is nervous, especially the israelis. the israelis are looking around saying they hope the new egypt will be a democratic egypt that lives in peace with them. otherwise it's a potential for great conflict again and no one wants that. no one should want that. >> right, no question, exciting times. 9 king of jordan wound up firing his government and in yemen, we
had a dictator saying i will step down in a coup of years. and now possibly protests in algeria, libya, its. >> iran would be a great case for the people there to say look what happened in egypt, we need the same thing. so the iranian dictators as such should be very, very concerned about this. >> i know we had a former cia director come out and say i think we're busy getting the infrastructure over to iran to help people who might want to organize. is that true? do we have program where is, you know, we help, for example, the iranians be able to get on facebook, stay on facebook, twitter, et cetera? is that underfoot? >> i suspect that there are efforts under way to help the iranians, the iranian people to rise up against what is clearly a dictatorial regime. they have snatched the elections away from the iranian people. in the past, we have been very tentative about this ..
they were so clear -- or so easy for those in charge, ahmadinejad and others in charge to label this a u.s. effort to destabilize iran. now i think the iranian people can see, this is not generated by the united states. this is something that came within egypt and the people of egypt wanting freedom. and the same cry of freedom can be heard in iran without it being labelled an american conspiracy. i think they have to be concerned. >> that's certainly true, but ideologically speaking, what's the difference between the dictators in iran and the dictators in saudi arabia? >> you have a different situation. you have a history of monarchy inform saudi arabia. you have a king who is aging. nonetheless, very modern in terms of what h his views are about building universities, educating the population, really giving more and more freedom, understanding the culture that's been in the past cannot persist in the future.
he's trying to recon siel that in an orderly fashion. the people of egypt now are jub lent, and they have every right to be. the tough part is coming. that is how do you bill these institutions? how do you set up a separate judiciary, election committee, make sure the foundations for democracy are really set in concrete so you can have a functioning democracy and not a one man, one stroet, one time. and that's what you had in iran and you've had that now with the elections in gaza with hamas. that's something that has to be avoided and i think the egyptian people are willing to take that challenge on. >> all right, former defense secretary william cohen, thank you so much. >> great to be with you. i should just note that saudi arabia is also not very modern in a lot of ways. so now, it's a great day to celebrate in egypt, but much remains uncertain in that country, and in the middle east. former ambassador nicholas burns is next.
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>> today belongs to the people of the egypt. tahrir means liberation. it's a word that speaks to that something in our souls that cries out for freedom. and forever more, it will remind us of the egyptian people. and what they did, of the things that they stood for, and how they changed their country and in doing so, changed the world. >> joining ining me now from te house is mike viqueira. i got the sense of the president saying, hey, i didn't stutter. i meant it. >> when mubarak made that late-night appearance on egyptian television, he was supposed to resign.
the president came right off marine one on the south lawn of the white house, marched right into the oval office and had a meeting with his national security team shortly thereafter. that statement you referred to came out. the president seeking clarification. hey, just exactly what does that mean? how is this transition going to go, president mubarak? but to the end, it should be noted that the president -- from the president on down, state house firms never overtly and publicly called for mubarak to step down. to the end, they were sort of hedging, walking that tight diplomatic line, the shadow boxing, those oblique references. it was fairly clear probably to mubarak himself what the desires of the american administration were going to be. one of the lessons coming out of this, two adages are proven. information is power, and information wants to be free. i know you were talking about facebook and twitter and the rote they played.
the united states is on the outside looking in. this was being driven by the people in that square. and you have to ask yourself, if they had left that square some days ago, what would be the position of the united states? still pushing for the transition, but mubarak would likely still be in place. the white house obviously very jub lent, especially given the frustration over the last 24 hours. you heard the president have soaring rhetoric, as befitted an historic occasion. he compared it to berlin wall, gand gandhi, indonesia. he also lauded the egyptian military, very key comments there. again, cenk, talking about their vital role in the transition to come. that's another concern of u.s. policymakers. after 30 years of oppression and repression, there's really no viable opposition in egypt.
so the military is going to have to keep order and face and keep moving towards the free and fair elections that the president and others have talked about. you already heard the vice president and robert gibbs behind me talking about iran. some very sharp words, not really mincing words about iran. the vice president says i say to my iranian friends, let your people march, let your people speak, release you're people from jail, let them have a voice, capitalize on the momentum. and the historic events we' seen transpire in egypt today, cenk. >> if those protesters had gone home, we would not have had those statements from the white house. i think that's absolutely critical. >> was there a sense when there was a breaking point at the sfwhous you're right. there was a lot of back and fort. was there a point where they said that's it, we can't stand
behind mubarak anymore. and we think the people won? >> well, i think that happened earlier this week. it was two weeks ago today, vice president biden gave an interview on pbs where he said mubarak was not a dictator and it was not time for him to go. gradually recalibrating that, getting tougher and tougher over the course of the last 18 days until it was very clear, if you read between the line, again, they never publicly called for mubarak to go, but it was very clear that was their preferred option. but to the extent that they had an option. to the extent that they had influence, to the extent that they could call the shots. the military to many ill tear contacts between the american military, the pentagon and egyptian military remain very strong. and as secretary cohen pointed out, that probably played a key role. >> mike, thank you so much. we appreciate it. white house correspondent for us, of course. now joining me is former ambassador nicholas burns and professor at harvard's kennedy
school of government. ambassador burns, obvious segue here, to how did the obama administration do diplomatically. did they strike just the right tone? were they a little lite to the party? or in the end, were they critical in toppling mubarak 1234. >> i think the strategy of the obama administration was vindicated today by this result. president obama from the start had to do two things well. i think he did them well. first he had to identify with the people, protesting peacefully, and support them. and beginning on january 28, two weeks ago tonight, he did that. secondly, he had to use the considerable influence of the united states behind the scenes with the mility, with mubarak, with omar suleiman to encourage them to move forward and eventually for mubarak to move out. that was a juggling act that you saw the president engaged in. it was the right use of american power. it was classic diplomacy, public statements, behind the scenes.
i think the president did very well. and i never agreed throughout this crisis with the criticism. he was being too soft on mubarak, he should call for his ouster, he's being too tough on mubarak. he should protect the regime. i thought he was -- played it right down the middle between sthoez two polehose two poles. and i know there was criticism that the administration had to try to keep up with events. we all did. those of us who teach at universities, the prez, we were all keeping up with rapidly changing events. and i give the administration very high marks for representing our country i think very effectively. >> the criticism on keeping up, i always found to be ash second degree murder. like you said, we're all trying to keep up here, but i've got to admit, i was one of the critics saying he moved too slowly. but what matters is the conclusion. in the end, he seemed to have not only come to the right place, but again, just looking at it, it looked like after he came out really strong last night, boom, we finally have
results tonight. i'm just trying to determine how much of a difference that made. >> well, you know, i think the president also said something very important at the beginning of the crisis. my words, not his, because i can't remember exactly what he said. this is not about us. this is an egyptian drama. they will be the authors of thf. he said this repeatedly. he said despite the influence, we weren't going to be the authors of this result. it was going to be the egyptian people. the people power of those hundreds of thousands of young people in the streets of cairo and alexandria and suez in the last 18 days, it was inspiring. and i think my identifying with them, we've set ourselves up, hopefully to help in this transition. but by using our influence with the military and with mubarak and suleiman, we practiced the kind of diplomacy that is most often effective. if the president had come out at the very beginning of the crisis and publicly called for
mubarak's ouster and given directions as to what should have happened, i think that would have backfired. i think a lot of egyptians would have been upset with the that kind of blatant interference in their political process. i do think balance was met by the president. but i also think that now it gets really difficult, because the transition begins tomorrow, and it's likely to be very complex and turbulent. >> absolutely. now, ambassador burns, i want to ask you one other thing related to other presidents and other preside factors in the world. does this prove al qaeda and george w. bush wrong? and here's what i mean by that. al qaeda calls for an islamic revolution through violence. here we have a secular revolution through nonviolence. al qaeda seems to be on the out. they didn't like the result here. george w. bush called for western invasions. you know, you talk about how much do you get involved here. here we didn't get involved. it was a local uprising. and i don't mean to compare the two, are they separately both wrong then based on what
happened here? >> i think that al qaeda is always wrong. i think al qaeda is on the ropes. and here you have millions of arabs of every age and from every class of society from tunisia to egypt to yemen saying we want peaceful change. we want democracy. that is a repudiation of al qaeda. but let me just defend president george wvmts bu. bush for a mom. i think it was vastly different. president bush to his credit and secretary condee rice did stand up for democracy and reform throughout the arab world. so i think we can be proud of what the united states has stood for, but i think we should assess president obama to have done very well in upholding american interests here. >> right. and look, i obviously disagree with how we went about so-called democracy in iraq. through wikileaks we see the
bush administration pushing towards more democratic reforms. so that was real. i want to thank you for bringing your expertise to us tonight. we really appreciate it, ambassador burns. >> thank you. >> all right, now, up next. the revolution will be facebook. the internet sf is a powerful force for regime change. 60% of the population is under 30. they got online and organized. how long before other young people in the region follow suit? [ male announcer ] 100 crisps in every can.
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>> this is ours today. this is our country. this is my egypt. this is a revolution. revolution. it's ours. ours. facebook. we are the revolution. >> this is our revolution, our facebook. that is amazing. joining me now is the new york bureau chief for wire.come who's written extensively about social networking in the protests in egypt. it says you direct business and disruptive media coverage for the wired. this appears to be disrupt i have -- disruptive media. >> but it's a good kind of disruption, isn't it? >> they're usinging this in order to communicate, in order to organize and get other people interested in stuff. that's exactly what they're for. >> they used to refer to internet revolution as a
business term. it turns out it's real. internet revolution. i mean -- >> it's literal this week. of. >> waelg ghoni works for google. he said, if you want to have free a country, give it the internet and he says this started on the internet. >> he did have a page which h hadded a lot to do with the origins of the public uprising. my view is that all of these things are sort of accelerants. to share this, to be seen by the world, especially to get the western media's attention is very, very important. this is why you don't see anything happening in north korea, for example, but you do see it in place where is
aljazeera english can operate. unless they turn off electricity, people can use the internet. ehe's probably closer to right than he is exaggerating. >> so i read earlier today that facebook is an accelerant and nay used it internally in egypt. but twitter and youtube, they used to stoke revolution throughout the world. does it break down like that? >> sort of. facebook is kind of a closed network. you have friends and friends of friends and thing like that. twitter is inherently open. it's seen by anybody who happens to be watching or look agent the hashtags i'm using not just your friends or friends. so in a sense facebook can be used especially well to organize and to put up fan pages and get people interested, but then when you're shouting or whispering and want to get attention, again, to get the western media's attention, because this
does drive the news cycle, twitter is the place to go. >> right. i heard young protesters got together in negotiations and said facebook says -- it's not facebook, it's them. i not sure they're able to do it without those. the people in egypt knew there was tor kmur, but they didn't see it. that had to have made a difference. >> but there are other tools like smart phones and being able to prod fast from anywhere with your iphone or android device and the ability to share in that way. so these networks are very important. they add a luster and efficiency. but if you have a telephone, a
smart phone, you can do a lot of things. >> now you have a young revolutionary and he wants to be free of tyranny, and qualcomms and says grab a bomb and then others come and say grab facebook, it seems like facebook is the better alternative, doesn't it? >> well, yoen. i mean, it's, egypt is an interesting place. iran, you were talking to about previously. you have an educated, large group of young people who aspire to things. they're generations removed from the elders running the place. so these are not necessarily the best fodder for because here's a bomb, holding a bomb and letting go of a bomb will make your life better. these people are ahead of that curve. >> we'll be right back. ♪ j-e-l-l-o ♪ j-e-l-l-o
>> joining me now is new york times columnist nicholas christoph. he's been covering this brilliantly. i want tow start with this issue first. the unemployed and the young. we have 60% of the population under 30 in egypt, which is a stunning number, huge number. 90% of egypt's unemployed are under 30. then we've got 50% of the men are unemployed. 90% of women two years out of college are unemployed. is that what led to thf revolution in? if f you don't share the wealth and you have this rulings class that hords the money and you have people who don't have a job they say what am i going to do? i need to get out on the street. >> well, it's simplistic to say it's determined by the large number of unemployed. but we do know the large number of people between 18 and 24, they correlate most strongly to civil unrest, criticism and
uprising. it seems to be magnified when you have societies that marginalize women, where those young men play a disproportionate role in society. and that presents a huge challenge for the reform movement. if they do get democracy, how do they get more economic growth? how do they create jobs. >> let's get behind that then. let's look at different mooumts that might have accused this revolution and had some part in it. we had the youth, we had the unemployed, but we had labor, too. they did strikes. we had a portion of the army, not perhaps the air force, but the army. we had some nationalist businessmen and some international reformers. how much of an effeaffect did a those groups have? did some have more of an affect? >> i think it was the youth.
it was striking how young it was. the intelligence community and we in the news media didn't adequately convey how much opposition there was to mubarak, how angered people were by the corruption, by the sense that they had received an education, wanted to participate in this society and they were closed out. and that was so prevalent among young people. and it went viral through methods of social media. >> let's talk about the corruption. news reports say 5% to 25% commissions went -- if you wanted to work in egypt, you had to funnel through the mubarak family. that's how he winds up becoming a multibillionaire. what affect does that have on others? and how does that affect others to become enormously dissatisfied? >> well, egypt has always been corrupt. when i live there had as an arabic student, you had to pay off people to get little things
done. but ones of things that changed was egypt opened up the economy, which was terrific. it was under international pressure, but they did so in ways that really gave the benefit of that to gahmal andcr. and it made billionaires that lived very austen tasus ostent left ordinary egyptians seething. the information monopoly of the government was broken and people became more aware of what was going on and more aggravated, per aware that ores felt exactly the way they did. >> so your focus is on the young. that makes perfect sense. given those factors and others that we mentioned, which country is a natural candidate to be next? >> it was interesting.
i asked that on my twitter feed and facebook after tunisia. frankly my facebook and twitter followers did better than the rest of the community. they picked egypt. i would say algeria, morocco, saudi arabia, certainly. syria. some people say jordan. i'm not sure i would put it quite in that category. china has blocked egypt as a search cry tier yeah. that's suggesting their thinking that they might think they're a candidate to be next, too. >> these are exciting times. it is unbelievable how quickly this has unfolded. it happened in 18 days. thank you so much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> my pleasure. >> all right, now speaking of the topics we were just discu discussing. where does the revolution happen
next? how does the tremendous change in egypt impact american policy? that's next. >> it's freedom. that's all you can say. he recommended citracal. it's different -- it's calcium citrate, so it can be absorbed with or without food. citracal. chicken, chicken chicken. there are thousands of ways to prepare it. [ chickens clucking ] you know only two of them. time to mix it up. time for new philly cooking creme. it'll take your chicken to places it's never been before. somewhere creamier, dreamier, with lots of flavor. look at you all chef-like. spread the love around in four fabulous flavors. spoon in a little new philly cooking creme. [ male announcer ] you know her. ♪ hey, what you do to me [ male announcer ] we know diamonds.
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learn more at insidepsoriasis.com. and talk to your doctor about psoriasis. ♪ with me no uh is the middle east columnist for "the new york times" and the author of the book "bitter friends, bosom enemies -- iran, the u.s. and the twisted path to confrontation." barbara, let me start with you and iran. i hear they're trying to twist this as oh, you see that, we got the u.s. is that really their strategy? and are the people of iran buying it? >> well, i don't think the
people of iran are buying it. there's this whole dichotomy, is it iran 1979 or iran 2009? and the goth is svernment is sa it's 1979 when they overran the shah. and many are saying it's 2009 when they rose up and protested an election result that was frankly rigged. both sides are trying to play this. we'll see next week whether iranian come out on the streets and whether they're inspired by the egyptian revolution. >> i know you just came back in the middle east, how scared are the rest of the dictators? >> i think people are very frightened. i think the leaders of these countries -- think about it, gadhafi has been the president of egypt since 1969. you've got abdullah salah of yemen. he was there between saddam took over. these people are living under these -- the people are living
under the same exact economic situations as the people in egypt and tunisia. the same exact combination of economic and political grievances. and all these countries need at the this point is just a fuse to be lit. >> we were talking about how this is so driven by the youth. such a large portion of the country is youth, 60% are under 30. now obviously that's true in a lot of other middle eastern countries. in egypt, they happen to be secular. obviously every country is different. but overall, what's your sense of whether the youth of those countries are secular or not? >> i think that's an interesting question. the people are religious. in the middle east, they are pretty religious, but i think the model of iran and hamas and afghanistan and sudan where they tried to combine islam and politics is seen as such a failure that people really look now to turkey, which is a combination of islam and
democracy that many people in the middle east now aspire to. >> and like turkey, the egyptian military wind upsiding with the people. the turk irk military often did coups in favor of democracy, which seems so strange to the rest of the world. but that happened on a number of occasions. that's an interesting example. defense secretary william cohen talked about, well, obviously the government would want to encourage this. mind you, they don't want to encourage it in other allies like saudi arabia, but that's a different point. if they are really encouraging it, how are they encouraging it? and any chance that succeeds? >> i think what's been so wonderful about egypt is this was indigenous. and it's a warning to aum all of us, you can't edge near this kind of regime change. what happened in iran in 2009 was completely unexpected. if it breaks out again, it will always be because of the bravery
and courage of the iranian people. we can make encouraging noises, help them get internet access. but i have a lot of faith in iran. >> of course, i generally agree with you. it's just a matter of time, i think. let me ask you about israel real quick. you know, obviously, they're concerned. they're worried because they had a stable partner. now maybe the border gets held up. >> anwar sadat made peace with israel because it was in egypt's interest to end its wars with israel and focus on building its economy. if anything, egypt's interests are more in that direction now than in the late '70s and early '80s. they need to create jobs, build up their economy, root out corruption. they don't need a war or hostility with a neighbor. >> all right, thank you so much. >> thank you.
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one final note for you tonight. as you see history unfold for you before your very eyes, i want you to keep one thing in your mind. i don't know if this is a win for the american government. they may have been err arly or e to the party, they may have been overly diplomatic or not diplomatic enough. our short-term interests might have been furthered or endanger pd .but that's not what i'm talking about tonight.
what happened today was a win for america, the idea of america. the idea that men and women are endowed with certain inalienable rights. this is not the privilege of one country, race or religion. that the idea of freedom is universal. at our core, we should always be for democracy and the rights of man. so tonight, it is about egypt. it is their celebration, but we all rejoice, a simple but courageous idea that men like jefferson, madison and washington started has born fruit in the middle east, hundreds of years later. such was the strength of those principles. i am originally from turkey, but i call myself an american, because these are the ideas i came here for. this is why i chose to be an american. this is why i choose to call men like john adams and benjamin frankly my founding fathers. how proud would thomas piayne been of the youth of